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It’s official. Consumers are reaping the benefits of fracking. In Pennsylvania, one of the first places to see a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) boom, utility companies have been lowering their gas prices and consumers are starting to notice the savings: lower utility bills. Pretty nice holiday gift. Soon, everyone’s going to want in. Who doesn’t want cheaper utility bills? A heyday for the oil and gas industry is just on the horizon.

 

According to an article by Andrew Maykuth of the Philly Inquirer, “The five big regional utilities that serve Pennsylvania and New Jersey customers have reduced their prices on the gas portion of bills by amounts ranging from 37 percent to 52 percent since Dec. 1, 2008, reflecting the steady fall in market prices that experts attribute to new supplies of shale gas.”

 

http://articles.philly.com/2011-12-23/news/30551359_1_shale-gas-gas-portion-gas-

 

Maybe there’s a shale deposit in GA that energy companies just haven’t found. The Atlanta native in me can only hope. But the chief benefit of fracking doesn’t get much clearer than lower utility bills. Bills cut in half.

 

Yet the momentous savings isn’t enough for some people.

 

The environmentalists.

 

After all the oil and gas companies have overcome by the EPA, they still have a battle to continue. The EPA doesn’t want to let up. And by the amount of contentious attacks the environmentalists are using—still—against fracking, the savings in utility bills may be short-lived.

 

The “Greens” as some call them find a way to destroy this good news with less-than-accurate claims against this prosperous natural gas revolution. Like the Wyoming report I mentioned a couple of days ago that was scrutinized by in a Wall Street Journal article titled “The EPA’s Fracking Scare.”

 

At what point will the EPA back off?

 

Maybe they will never stop their raid. But what we will see in light of this Shale Revolution, even if they are only small glimpses, is a rise in public praise for fracking from reduced utility bills, instead of contemptible images of contaminated water touted by the EPA.

 

 

Speaking solely for the U.S. economy, I don’t think President Obama can afford to deny the Keystone Pipeline. Don’t get me wrong, environmentalists can stand as a long as they want on their convictions against the pipeline as a carbon-bomb setter, but our country is inducing massive debt, hanging onto thousands of long-term unemployed skilled and unskilled workers and is only just now modestly observing a rise in job creation.

It would be fatuous for the president to continue this drama of avoiding the decision. He has two parties and two groups to choose from: the environmentalists, the democrats or the job creators, the republicans. While we are still uncertain of which group the Commander in Chief will side with, one thing is for sure in the interim: more delay will worsen our business relationship with Canada. Trying Canada’s time is hardly what our nation needs.

If President Obama doesn’t decide to create the pipeline soon, Canada will send their oil pipeline elsewhere. In fact, according to an article by John Bussey at the Wall Street Journal, “Canada is talking with China about piping its oil west instead of south.” They will work with China instead of their own neighbors, us. Furthering our political indecisiveness on our own time is one thing, but messing with Canada’s schedule is another.

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204319004577084921578161262.html

Delay will worsen the matter.

If Canada moves elsewhere, or to be more specific, TransCanada—the company that introduced this pipeline project to President Obama—the U.S. will miss a job-creating project that many domestic energy producers—including Exxon Mobile, Shell, Conoco Phillips and Chevron among others—are desperately hoping will come to fruition.

Will the president do the right thing about Keystone? If he wants more jobs and domestic energy security, he will make the choice to let TransCanada build a pipeline from Canada to Texas by this summer. After all, the Keystone Pipeline will create upwards of thousands of jobs and send our efforts for oil by Canada—closer to home—instead of Saudi Arabia. Only time will tell.

Energy independence, can we attain it? More or less. Practically speaking we can reach something close to it. And our portion of independence is lessening as each day passes, as each energy producer drills for oil and gas. But why now do we think energy can spread its arms in creating wider independence? Shale. Shale is a rock formation that extends from New York State to Maryland—usable by pressuring sand and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas—deep beneath the ground. Shale is giving thousands of workers jobs through the extraction process.

New technologies in geology make it worthwhile for energy companies to look into shale and to produce oil and gas from the coveted rock. No longer is shale drilling a too-expensive business project. Shale drilling has become the optimal business project for oil companies. The rock formation is so useful and abundant that energy producers themselves and even scientists believe the U.S. will surpass the Middle East in drilling for crude.

According to an article by Kevin G. Hall at the Detroit Free Press, “Geologists think the Marcellus Shale formation contains the second-largest natural gas deposits in the world, behind only Iran’s South Pars-North Dome gas field in the Persian Gulf.” If this is a testament to the agreement right now in the Energy Industry, the prospect of energy independence looks good. We can all celebrate for the years to come, that is, if the EPA doesn’t halt the business of shale. EPA agents touted the contamination of the drinking water supply in Wyoming due to chemicals that were used in a shale fracking project.

This EPA report became much clearer, however, when a journalist of the Wall Street Journal evaluated it: “What it doesn’t say is that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water in Pavillion (population 175) for at least 50 years—long before fracking was employed.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204026804577098112387490158.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

But.

EPA agents still lurk behind the hills, beyond shale formations, in the distance.

Only if the energy companies can withstand EPA’s wrath against fracking we will see a surge in our economy and reap all the rewards of lessening our energy dependence on the Middle East:

Cheaper gas prices. More Jobs. Economic Freedom. That’s what energy producers want to create, for all of us, we demand it as their customers, as actors in the market. Only, they’re stopped, intermittently and their purposes become unclear due to scathing EPA claims, like the Wyoming report.

Courtesy Chesapeake Energy